The last few months have seen the unveiling of new Spring and Summer collections at pet couture shows in cities across the globe. Getting things rolling at the top end of the market was the famous Harrods Department Store in London which held its fifth annual Pet-à-Porter dog fashion show in November. The theme of the show was ‘Diamond Dogs’ and one of the highlights was a spectacular Stephen Webster diamond and precious jewel dog collar worth over half a million pounds. Other designs incorporated pearls, sapphires, and rubies. Hundreds of people turned out to sip champagne and nibble on canapés at Harrods while watching the well behaved dog models (and their human companions) strut down the runway wearing outfits by top designers including Ben de Lisi and Vivienne Westwood. After two hours of dazzling dog fashion, guests left with an exclusive doggy bag full of treats for those furry friends who couldn’t attend the show.
Tokyo is another up-and-coming centre of dog fashion where canine couture is particularly popular. Walking through the city’s parks you will rarely see a dog that isn’t dressed to the nines and perfectly accessorized, and some Tokyo owners are known to have several dozen different outfits for their dogs. Tokyo also hosted Japan’s first New Year Dog Party in January. The event featured activities such as dog yoga, photo sessions, gourmet dog food bars, and fashion shows with human and dog models strutting down the runway in matching outfits by top international designers. Highlights of the show included a $20,000 diamond-encrusted leather doggie jacket modelled by a dachshund and a gold and silver coloured jacket with Swarovski crystals for $5,000. Other canine uber-models included shih-tzus in biker jackets, poodles in polka dot dresses, bull dogs in sailor suits, a poodle dressed as Audrey Hepburn, greyhounds in rasta hats, a maltese in a denim body suit and yellow boots, and even a dog in a neon green wig. The two day event attracted crowds of up to 20,000 people who enjoyed themselves almost as much as all the dogs who welcomed the chance to socialise, enjoy the aromatherapy spas, sniff, do a little yoga, perhaps compete in a speed-eating contest, and of course – show off their latest outfit.
New York is naturally at the forefront of dog fashion and it is the site of Pet Fashion Week New York, an annual event since 2006. In addition to the runway shows, this event features a lifestyle tradeshow, a black tie fundraiser for charity, and awards ceremonies. The show is held in August and last summer some of the most outrageous fashions were provided by Isle of Dogs whose canine and human models ranged from visions of post-apocalyptic, metallic silver and purple robots to a pink chiffon Mary Poppins accompanied by a teacup poodle with pink highlights and a sparkling princess crown. Other designers showcased leopard print and denim combinations, ruffled dresses and even a yorkie wearing a white angel outfit with feathers and wings.
So – what fashion trends emerged from these shows? Well here’s a rundown of what’s in for pet couture this Spring.
Pink is as hot as ever this Spring season but with a new twist of pretty floral patterns, ruffles, lace and appliqué detail, polka dots, metallic fabrics and accessories. For a fresh Spring look and feel, soft sheer fabrics combined with cotton and linen will feature and yellow will be popular alongside contrasting black and white, colours that suit dogs of all shapes and sizes. Shades of green will also be popular as the more environmentally friendly hemp will be making an impact amongst more eco-conscious owners in the coming months.
White will also feature strongly this Spring/Summer season for both boy and girl dogs with smocking and puff sleeve detail making an appearance as well. Making a comeback this season are soft cosy pajamas, and they’re not just for casual home wear – pet parents wearing matching pj’s are predicted to be a new street-wear trend combining style with comfort. For cooler days, stylish warmth will be provided by cotton hoodies, soft knit jumpers and ponchos in pastel shades of pink and green.
Dog Tee’s with slogans are always popular. This Spring, Tee’s with leopard trim are predicted to be a big hit along with Tee’s with chiffon trim for girls and skull and heart designs for boys. And finally, pet parents of big dogs will be finding it easier to dress their dogs in the latest funky trends this year as more and more pet fashion designers are including big dog sizes in their lines.